Wednesday, February 24, 2010


If all the world could sing a song in one great choir
Every common man and king
And every child would sing along to lift us higher
And even Heaven came to sing

Build: Would we find a common language
That’s understood by everyone
Well I suppose there is a song already written
And every day that song is sung

It’s sung by a woman who stands in an apron
Stirring a supper in ¾ time
It’s sung by a daddy cuddling his baby
A rock-a-bye rhythm in lullaby rhyme
One in the name of sweet Savior, Jesus
Sung by a prisoner who needs a new start
Though each one is different
They’re strangely familiar
They’re singing the song of the heart

If we could look beyond the wars that come between us
And we could play a simple part
And take away our common fears, what would that leave us
The music of the heart

Build: Then we’d find a common language
That’s understood by everyone
And I know there is a song, already written
And every day that song is sung

(sung by a soldier, who’s doing his part)

They’re singing the song of the heart

It struck me, when my kids were little and I was trying to fit my education as a songwriter in between diaper changes, that the best music I might ever create would be silently set to the rhythms of daily life. Some little spirit whispered to mine that I was not alone; that most people just lived their lives in survival mode, and whatever struggles I might be enduring were not exclusive nor particularly unique. Here in America we had entered a war, the Gulf War, and at the same time I was reading the beautiful words of Victor Hugo in the 5 volumes of Les Miserables. The “prisoner” part of this song is a tribute to Jean ValJean…who needed a new start. And the soldier was every American who tented in the blistering desert of an unpopular middle-eastern conflict.
I do like thinking of the whole world singing in one great choir…kings and commoners. As I dove into that thought I realized that while our spoken languages might be different, the language of the heart is universal.

I have thickened Thanksgiving gravy in ¾ time ever since. I stand before the fire as my sisters do across mountains and oceans - regardless of the day, or what is boiling in our pots - keeping time with our heartbeats. I close my eyes and hear the lovely silent chorus.


  1. wow. i had almost forgotten about some of these songs. i like this one and haven't thought of it for too long.

    this is a great adventure! thanks for the hard work.

  2. Beautiful again. "Most men live lives of quiet desperation," said the Thoreau. Most women live lives of dogged hope. The song strains are complex, and change modes right in the middle. But we all recognize them sooner or later. I don't usually sing joy, because I am too busy with it. But I almost always sing relief.